This thesis set out to investigate the role of non-academic variables in a Scottish secondary school. Specifically, it explored the variables of mindset, resiliency, contingencies of self-worth and social value of effort. The research is composed of two key studies with the second study being further developed by two follow up studies. The first major study (Chapter 4) involved using an intervention with 33 secondary school pupils. Questionnaires and focus groups were used. Results found that the intervention made a significant impact at post-test stage but this was not sustained at follow-up. Discussion considered this in light of previous research and looked at implications for future practice. This was a mixed methods study. The second major study (Chapter 5) was cross-sectional, involving 174 secondary school pupils from a selection of ability and year groups. It examined the factors of mindset, contingencies of self-worth and social value of effort. This study also used mixed methods. Results showed significant gender differences and these were discussed in light of future practice and previous literature. A practitioner focus group was carried out to triangulate these findings and to find out if they reflected teachers’ classroom experience (Chapter 6). Finally computerised data was analysed to explore if the distribution of praise and sanctions differed by gender (Chapter 7).